Although Hernandez has been a starter throughout his entire seven-year career, the Rays most likely signed him to add to their bullpen rather than provide starting depth that they don’t really need. He’s had two good seasons in his career with the Cleveland Indians; in 2007 when he finished fourth in the AL Cy Young voting after posting a 19-6 record with a 3.06 ERA, and in 2010 when he earned his first All-Star Game selection.
As MLBTradeRumors.com points out, Hernandez owns a lousy 5.06 ERA since his career year in ’07. However, the sinkerballer still has shown the ability to entice groundballs during those four years as he has posted a groundball rate of 56.6%. After trading away Burke Badenhop, who was the Rays’ groudball specialist in the ‘pen this year, Friedman most likely signed Hernandez to replace him. He’ll probably serve as a long reliever during the course of the season as well.
Hernandez made headlines in 2012 with an overall disastrous year. Due to visa and identity fraud issues, he only managed to make three starts, which he lost all three of while posting a 7.53 ERA.
Because of his decline, Friedman was likely able to snag Hernandez off the free agent market for a pretty fair price. No details on the signing—which hasn’t been finalized—have been released yet.
In much bigger MLB free agency news, the Los Angeles Angels have agreed to a five-year contract worth $125 million with superstar slugger Josh Hamilton. With Mike Trout and Albert Pujols already on the roster, the Angels make a great case for Major League Baseball’s best trio.
Other Rays News and Notes:
- DRaysBay.com has an update on the Rays’ stadium situation.
- Around the division: Ryan Dempster appears to be headed to Boston and Ichiro looks to be returning to the Bronx. The biggest AL East news of the week however: Kevin Youklis joining the Evil Empire.
- If you haven’t already heard, the city of Tampa declared last Tuesday David Price Day. Price and his dog Astro were both given keys to city by Mayor Bob Buckhorn.
- Here’s Astro being featured on the SportsCenter intro recently: